Worth A Thousand Words: Machine Gun Marine

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Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kenneth Benton, a technical controller assigned to Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, mans a machine gun in a turret during a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 25, 2013. The Marines were on a mission to deliver equipment and supplies to Marines at forward operating bases near Camp Leatherneck. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul Peterson/Released)U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kenneth Benton, a technical controller assigned to Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, mans a machine gun in a turret during a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 25, 2013. The Marines were on a mission to deliver equipment and supplies to Marines at forward operating bases near Camp Leatherneck. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul Peterson/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Machine Gun Marine

Worth A Thousand Words: Red Warrior

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Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Carver, assigned to Oregon Army National Guard’s, Bravo Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, emerges from a red plume of smoke, during an urban assault challenge, while competing in the nation best warrior competition, July 24, 2013 in Little Rock, AR. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce/Released)

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Carver, assigned to Bravo Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Oregon Army National Guard, emerges from a red plume of smoke during an urban assault challenge while competing in the 2013 Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition on Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Ark., July 24, 2013. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Red Warrior

Locks of Love

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A few years ago, a college friend of mine had mentioned that she wanted to donate her hair to Locks of Love. I had never heard of it before, so I decided to look it up. Basically, the organization takes donated hair and turns it into wigs for needy children who have lost their own hair. Excellent idea!

Now, it does take quite a long time for hair to grow long. So, donating all of your hair to the organization is most certainly a good cause. One particular Army Captain is doing just that.

It takes years for hair to grow long, but only a few seconds to remove it. Army Sergeant Rebecca Schwab tells us about one Army Captain who’s giving it all up for a good cause.

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Locks of Love

Summer Safety

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Story by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel, Defense Media Activity

Summertime: my favorite time of the year!!! The time of the year when you can hang out with friends and family outside grilling food and sipping on your favorite ice cold beverage. To me, summertime means a lot of things: toes in the sand, the bright warm sun, pools and beaches.

Additionally, summertime is the time of the year when all the branches in the U.S. military give their safety briefs. If you have never had the pleasure, they are everything you could imagine. It’s typical meeting where someone is standing in front of you lecturing you (usually with a power point in the background) about what you should and shouldn’t do during your leisure time.

 

Photo: Walter Fulton, a contract safety instructor trainer with Cape Fox Professional Services, discusses summer driving safety at the Naval District Washington summer safety stand down at the Washington Navy Yard on May 22, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Gordon/Released)

Walter Fulton, a contract safety instructor trainer with Cape Fox Professional Services, discusses summer driving safety at the Naval District Washington summer safety stand down at the Washington Navy Yard on May 22, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Gordon/Released)

Earlier in my service as a young sailor I used to dread these lectures and wondered why we had to attend them. Most of them were so boring it would be hard to stay awake through the entire brief. As time has went on in my career I have learned that the regulations and guidance you get in the military has sadly been written in blood.

Summer time is a heightened time of year for injuries and even deaths. Service members spend more time outside and in the water participating in activities from sitting on a beach in the sun to taking personal watercraft or motorcycle for a joy ride. These activities greaten the risk of service members of injuring themselves or even becoming a casualty.

To help try to avoid these injuries each service has adapted their own way of getting the message out to play safe.

The Army seems to be ahead of the curve on this…for once (just kidding soldiers, I love all my fellow service members and their associated branches). It seems like they are trying to make this training more enjoyable by implementing games and interactive online videos with informative messages embedded to appeal to the younger (and even some older, mine included) generations love of video games. In the name of research (wink) I tested them all out myself and they’re actually not bad. One even emulated and old favorite of mine (can you guess which one?).

The Navy and Marines are keeping it simple with the standard power points and safety videos.

Air force has a program called The Critical Days of Summer which has a week by week rundown on training for 14 weeks with useful links for more information.

All of the services have a similar message. They want service members to have a good time and enjoy your time off of work, but in a safe manner while still maintaining their core values.

You can view more DoD Summer Safety videos here

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Summer Safety

Worth A Thousand Words: I Got Your Back

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Photo: Sailors prepare to attach pallets to an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Island Knights” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 49 during a vertical replenishment on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) on July 7, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Kelly/ Released)

Sailors prepare to attach pallets to an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Island Knights” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 49 during a vertical replenishment on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) on July 7, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Kelly/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: I Got Your Back

LSP Preparing Marines for Higher Education

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A Marine supervises from the center of The Basic School permanent personnel battalion during a 10-mile hike aboard the westside of Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 28, 2013. This was the first hike The Basic School has done for regimental physical training in the last 3 years. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cuong Le/Released)

A Marine supervises from the center of The Basic School permanent personnel battalion during a 10-mile hike aboard the westside of Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 28, 2013. This was the first hike The Basic School has done for regimental physical training in the last 3 years. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cuong Le/Released)

Ensuring quality education and admission support from institutions of higher learning is crucial to a smooth transition.  There are many programs available outside of government but the military services are also interested in developing complimentary programs for those veterans wishing to compete and place through traditional school admissions processes. The Marine Corps created the Leadership Scholar Program (LSP) to assist exiting Marines gain admission to colleges and universities for their desired undergraduate program.

Marines who are selected into the program are given top-notch support throughout the transition and admission process.  This support includes assisting Marines in the application process, coordinating interviews with admission officers, providing consistent updates on application status, and offering a single point of contact to answer any and all questions.  Sgt. Michael Liao will be separating in June and thanks to the LSP will be attending Princeton University.  He stated, “The Leadership Scholar Program plays a critical role by advocating on behalf of Marines, to college admissions boards.”  Many times it can be difficult for service members to portray all the experiences and expertise gained while serving to an admissions board.  LSP takes an active approach to giving Marines an opportunity to communicate these unique skills in person.

Another aspect of LSP is a partnership with colleges and universities.  When a college or university signs on to participate in the Leadership Scholar Program they are committing to secure acceptance of qualified applicants.  Through this partnership the colleges/universities provide the LSP with all necessary admission requirements, timelines, academic criteria, and reporting instructions.  Relationships built between the Marine Corps and these institutions provide an avenue for Marines to receive dedicated admission support and interviews when needed.

To be eligible to participate in the LSP, Marines must be high school graduates and possess a minimum combined score of a 70 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) and a General Technical (GT) score of 115 or higher.  Applicants are screened to ensure they meet the requirements of the institution to which they wish to apply and then forwarded to the admissions office for a final decision.  Marines usually start the LSP application process at least 12 months before leaving active duty. 

Through these efforts the admissions process is less daunting as LSP acts as the conduit to helping Marines navigate into the school do their choice.  Former Marine, Joseph Prive speaks of his LSP experience, “I attended a few LSP-sponsored meetings with admissions counselors from elite universities, and I then realized that even I could be a successful student, pursue my interests, and enjoy it.  LSP provided me with direction, encouragement and confidence when I needed it the most.”  Currently, the LSP has over 238 institutions in 45 States and the District of Columbia participating, with a long range goal of having at least two colleges/universities in each State.  These partners recognize that a Marine’s experience while in the military make them well-suited for success in an academic environment.

Get more information on the Leadership Scholar Program

Rosye Cloud is Director of Policy for Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Military Families

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LSP Preparing Marines for Higher Education

Wounded, Ill and Injured Warriors Annex Opens

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Featured in this All Hands Update, a new Wounded, Ill and Injured Annex opens up in at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Wounded, Ill and Injured Warriors Annex Opens

Reserve F-16 Pilot Helps Squelch Wildfires Across West

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A small and maneuverable Beech King Air, like the one flown by Lt. Col. Paul Delmonte while on the job with the U.S. Forest Service, pulls away after leading a tanker to a retardant drop spot over a wildfire. During peak fire season, May to October, forest service lead plane pilots can assist in putting out as many as 60 fires. (Courtesy photo)

By Kari Tilton
419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Reserve F-16 pilot Lt. Col. Paul “Buster” Delmonte flies several types of aircraft as part of his full-time civilian job, but instead of dropping bombs he delivers an entirely different kind of weapon.

Delmonte, the 466th Fighter Squadron commander, is an aerial firefighter and aviation safety manager with the U.S. Forest Service. Between May and October each year, he flies above fiery mountain ranges to drop smokejumpers and direct the delivery of fire retardant.

He’s currently in Durango, Colo. with more than 1,400 forest service personnel to extinguish the West Fork Complex Fire, which as of today has consumed more than 83,000 acres. He’s also working alongside Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard aircrews deployed there with specially equipped C-130s that are dropping thousands of gallons of retardant on the blazing wilderness area.

Just like flying in a combat zone, conditions above wildfires are often rough and the drop zones are always challenging.

“Typically, we drop the smokejumpers over tight clearings in the forest canopy,” Delmonte said. “It takes about 30 minutes to empty the plane and it can be challenging to maneuver through narrow canyons while steering clear of trees and other obstacles.”

“If the fire is big, often times smoke combined with the angle of the sun will make it extremely difficult to see,” he added.

When transporting smokejumpers, Delmonte flies either a DHC-6 or DC3-TP aircraft. Both are known for their ability to fly at slow speeds and in tight circles. The smokejumpers jump from the aircraft, parachuting into rugged terrain to reach areas that are hard to access by road.

When fire retardant is the weapon of choice, Delmonte flies as “lead plane” in a Beech King Air, a smaller, highly maneuverable aircraft. His role is to orchestrate the location and timing for large forest service tankers to drop the retardant, foam or water.

“We have a smoke generator onboard – similar to airshow aircraft – so we can mark the start point and designate the best course for the tankers,” Delmonte said. “Piloting the lead plane is much like being an F-16 FAC-A (forward air control – airborne). I get the objectives and priorities from the ground incident commander and then go to work sequencing other aircraft over the target.”

The forest service can send Delmonte anywhere in the U.S., but he typically covers hot spots in the western U.S. like New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Montana and California where wildfires are most common in the hot, dry summer months.

During a busy season, a lead plane pilot can assist in putting out as many as 60 fires, he said. So far this year, he’s been called to New Mexico, California, Idaho and Colorado.

But with weather reports calling for a record-setting heat wave across the western U.S. this weekend, things are likely just warming up.

“I expect I’ll get busier real soon, as July and August are typically our biggest months,” he said.

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Reserve F-16 Pilot Helps Squelch Wildfires Across West

Worth A Thousand Words: Suite Up

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Photo: Lance Cpl. Dylan Shuler, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), helps Lance Cpl. Jarrod Roper, 22nd MEU, don his level "B" protective suit during hazardous material response training at the Guardian Centers in Perry, Ga., June 21, 2013.  The training was a week long course that was custom-tailored to the needs of the 22nd MEU.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Austin Hazard.Marine Lance Cpl. Dylan Shuler helps Lance Cpl. Jarrod Roper don his level “B” protective suit during hazardous material response training at the Guardian Centers in Perry, Ga., June 21, 2013.  The training was a week long course that was custom-tailored to the needs of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Austin Hazard/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Suite Up